Saturday, October 1, 2011
(day seventy-four) the outcasts
One of my favorite things in the world to do this time of year is take my blanket, bible, snack of some sort and head to the park! There's nothing I enjoy more than soaking up all that sunshine and gettin as much of God in nature that I can. At one point I got distracted by the ducks (not unusual for me) and noticed a little guy out there kind of away from the others. Wouldn't you know that's the one I immediately fell in love with? It seemed as though the other ducks were communicating to one another, quaking jokes (hahaha...oh man, that was cheesy). But my cute little ducky was left out. A few minutes later it steps out of the water and starts struggling up the bank. Then tragically I realized my pet had a gimp leg!!! Oh no... how terrible. It started hopping up the bank and more than anything I wanted to take it into my arms, love and care for it, and fix all of it's problems. But the duck just kept hopping away from me no matter how hard I tried to communicate, "I come in peace" in my best quaking voice. (I'm quite a sight to see sometimes.) It's almost as if it couldn't trust me because it had been rejected so many times before. All I wanted to do was to tell it that it was wanted and loved.
If you've read any of my recent blogs you'll quickly see how passionate I am about orphans. Even more so... the broken, lonely, poor, hurting, disabled, or dying ones. Seemingly, the worlds outcast. At first we say, "how can this be?"... but yet, the remain alone. When I saw this broken duck abandoned by it's bird community because of it's deformities, I knew what God had in store for me. I don't even know the details yet... but I know God is going to lead me to that place. My heart hurts for the ones the world rejects, and it aches in a big big way.
Going to new zealand next week for a few months is the first step in this process. While I'm there we'll be developing a new school for our base but also I'll be looking into more long-term outreach destinations to connect with. This past year as I've been recovering from my sickness, God has been stirring in my heart and transitioning me into a life long missionary mentality. It's always hard to leave the fam... but it's just as difficult for me to see a lonely child rejected by the world with no one.
But you know... even here there are lonely children who feel rejected by the world (and I'm not just talking about kids). You may even be one of them. And sometimes it doesn't even matter how many people are around us... often that even makes us think we don't deserve to be loved, wanted or valued. Welp, this is just not true. He loves you so freakin much! I also think that if you really need something, you should look for ways to give that away. If you are lonely... then find lonely people to love and serve. If you are having financial difficulties... then look for poorer people to feed or love on, or ways to give money away. If you are feeling trapped... then go spend some time loving on the local prisoners. I know it sounds crazy... but by walking in the opposite spirit you are making a huge statement of faith and trust. You are also showing that those things don't control you and you are relying and waiting on the heavenly Father to provide. The more we look upward and outward, the more God takes care of the inward. But the more inward we look... the more everything seems to fall apart :(
I have a great friend who shared a vision recently someone had for her. In the vision she was a horse who was running wild, obviously upset about something. The stable boy tried and tried to check it's foot to see what was bothering the horse, but she was not having it. One day the master came along and soothed the horse with words of authority and love. The master got the horse to lift up her foot and found a tiny thorn that had been the root cause of all of the pain. He pulled out the thorn and after the initial pain, the horse had a sigh of relief. My friend identified with this vision in such a way that it brought up painful things to which she realized were the source of so much sorrow and slavery. Instead of pushing that back down and trying continue to "do life" with those tiny thorns, she was allowing the master to take them out. Now he could begin to heal... now she could run with freedom and joy.
I've been there, and I'm almost certain most of you guys have to. Sometimes we've become used to the thorns that bring so much pain and sorrow... and often we don't even realize that freedom is possible. You may be the horse... or you may be the little duck with the gimp leg, but there IS a purpose and design for you. Sometimes we continue to live with physical ailments and sometimes we are completely healed... but the masters always brings freedom and healing for our hearts if we choose to let Him.
When His character is revealed to us in such a way and we see the precious life we are given... we can't help but praise Him. Let the words of this song penetrate your soul today and bring light and life to the dark places. He wants to take out your thorns... allow yourself to be still in His presence so He can do what His does best.
B90: (Luke 3:21- 11:13) I LOVE in Luke Ch.4 when Jesus takes the prophetic word Isiah had written and stands up in the synagogue and reads, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. he has send me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then He rolled it up, sat down... and it said all eyes fixed on Him. It was probably awkwardly silent too. Then He basically said... "what i just read to you guys, was just now fulfilled." Whoa!!!! Insane! Can you imagine? Then He said a few things that ruffled their feathers and they drove Him up to a place they were actually going to throw Him off of a cliff. He quickly became the outcast. But somehow, he disappeared....
Last year I was able to travel through this part of Israel and actually stand on this mountain top. It was crazy to think that it happened right in that very place. I can't help but think what we would do if Jesus came into our churches today and started proclaiming some of these things. Yet another reason why the word of God MUST be on our minds, hearts, and lips... so that we KNOW the truth of who God is! And when we see, hear, or are moved by God we recognize Him.
There were some beautiful truths mentioned in those verses above. 1- Proclaim good news to the poor. 2- Proclaim liberty (freedom) to the captives. 3- Recovering the sight of the blind (healing) 4- Set liberty (freedom) to the oppressed and 5- proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. I wanna break it down even further... 1- He's telling others (the poor in spirit or/and literal poor) the GOOD NEWS... He's not forcing anything or enticing. 2- He's speaking freedom to those enslaved (spiritually and quite possibly physically). 3- He's reclaiming the sight that was lost for the blind (spiritually and physically too) by healing. 4- To the oppressed (again possibly both) setting free and 5- declaring the favor of the Lord! Notice some themes here? Proclaiming truth... freedom... healing... And the thing is; Jesus knows exactly what it feels like to be rejected, unwanted, and unloved. No wonder He has such a heart for the ones cast out of society.
I also noticed something I hadn't before in the story of the good samaritan Ch. 10:25-37. Right before He tells that story someone had asked him the greatest commandment. First love God with everything, second love your neighbor as yourself. Whatever we think neighbor means... this brings a new spin to it! It was the man that bound up his wounds and went out of his way to take care of him that "proved to be a neighbor of the man". It was the "one who showed him mercy". Wow. Again... I used to think loving my neighbor was letting them have a cup of sugar or something. But this really does bring whole new meaning. Instead of waiting for a neighbor to ask us for help... what if we were constantly on the look out for needs of people (even strangers!!). And what if we were willing to go out of our way for them... knowing they could not repay us? How often have I overlooked someone's need because I thought maybe someone else would do it? I can't think of a better distraction from this "busy life" than entertaining angels :)